Recognise this scary face?
Why, of course you do. It’s Carlo Vinci, animator of some of the funniest drawings in the early days of the Hanna-Barbera studio. And you may recognise the picture as being similar to one which opened a story on the studio in Life Magazine published on November 21, 1960. You can read it HERE.
Amid over at Cartoon Brew was nice enough to point out that all the photos taken in the shoot by Allan Grant for that story are now on-line. Allow me post a few of them (for non-commercial purposes, naturally, as this is a fan site).
The brilliant Mel Blanc is at the centre of this photo of a break in (or just prior to the start of) a voice session for “The Flintstones.” Bea Benaderet has her back to the camera, and the others are Jean Vander Pyl, Joe Barbera, Alan Reed and associate producer Alan Dinehart. In the corner of the shot, that’s John Stephenson with the pencil; he appeared on several cartoons as early as the first season in 1960. I gather from Tony Benedict’s interview with Mark Evanier at this year’s Wonder Con that this session was recorded at the Columbia Pictures studio. Remember that the Hanna-Barbera studio at 3400 Cahuenga hadn’t been built yet; H-B started in the Kling studio on La Brea in 1957 and then moved to a building at 3501 Cahuenga (a block from their future home and a block and a half from Jack Kinney Productions) by August 1960. Incidentally, those Ampex tape machines in the booth were great. I imagine the studio recorded the reels at 15 ips and then cut reference discs for the animators to use when drawing mouth movements; there’s another picture in this set of Carlo at his drawing board with a turntable and record nearby.
Here’s Joe Barbera paying rapt attention to his secretary.
You’ll notice in picture with the secretary (Scott Shaw! tells me she’s Maggie Roberts), the table has an Emmy (for The Huckleberry Hound Show), a wooden key and little models of Huck, Quick Draw and a wooly mammoth, as well as Tom and Jerry, who were still property of MGM. Someone, maybe it was Jerry Eisenberg, described the window-less studio where H-B was located when he arrived in 1961 as “the bunker.” Those painted brick walls sure leave you with that impression. The building is still there today. It’s still without windows and still has painted bricks.
Look at the talent in this room for what may have been a development meeting. The greatest cartoon writer in the world, Mike Maltese, is on the right side of the picture talking to Alex Lovy (the bald chick-magnet to the right). From left to right in the photo are: Arnie Carr (studio flack), Dan Gordon, Alan Dinehart, Joe Barbera, Bill Hanna and the marvellous Warren Foster to Hanna’s left. Maltese is blocking production supervisor Howard Hanson, who you can’t see. The drawings on the blackboard we’ll discuss in a post next week.
A recording session. No, that’s not Hoyt Curtin conducting. Curtin was a beefy guy with a rum nose; he looked like a character out of Guys and Dolls. Hanna has his foot up on the step. Listen to some of the orchestra’s work by clicking on the button.
“You must live in a hole if you don’t like to bowl! Hey, hey, hey, hey!” The studio had a bowling team. Could the third person in the shot be Tony Benedict? By the way, this building is still there but this side entrance is different today.
And here’s one more of the stars of “The Flintstones” and their cardboard cut-outs. You can see the old-time network radio influence as they’re all gathered around one mike. There must have been a lot of bobbing in and out to read lines but all of them worked in radio in the ‘40s, so they’d be used to it.
We’ve captioned more photos in this post. If you want to look at all the photos, click HERE. There are others of Carlo; one of them shows layout drawings for “The Golf Champion.” My thanks again to Amid for the link.